my submission to the ETS – like it is…..

Submission of M.J.Grimwood

to the ETS amendment proposals.

The only valid goal is an actual reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

All else is smoke and mirrors.

This proposal has overridden that goal with another – the pre-held assumption that economic growth is paramount – and thus was always going to be flawed legislation, soon to require superseding.

To function, a carbon market – if that is the chosen mechanism – must be unrestricted as to price, and capped as to quantity. This construct has it backwards.

It should be noted that there is not the carbon sink globally, to address ‘Business as  Usual’. Mature forests are a zero-sum game (constant biomass) if kept, and a loss if cleared. Sequestration requires incredible amounts of the fossil energy which is already in contention, perhaps as much as 50% in the case of open-cast lignite extraction. It has yet to be proven in that application.

This leaves new-planted forest, which has run out of lead-time to address the issue, as of now.

Meaning meaningful reduction is the only valid course of action.

It has to be understood that ‘competitive advantage’ is only a relevant concept if society continues to function, and continued failure to properly address emissions will inevitably end in dysfunction.

There should be clear (and clearly signalled) reduction targets, no emitters omitted, and a clear understanding that the rights of future generations to an untrammelled life, must override the short-term greed of the current generation at any given time.

This proposed legislation fails to tick that box.

The point should be made that the transfer of obligation from emitter to taxpayer, removes incentive and misallocates cost. The price (and it’s ability to signal) has been purposely dissociated from the emitter at the margins – the very place it would drive change. An unacceptable obfuscation, indeed this will be the biggest collective subsidy New Zealand has ever seen.

This is poor legislation, in large part because it centres on the falsely-held assumption that exponential economic (and therefore physical) growth, is sustainable and/or desirable. Unfortunately, it is neither.

The problem here is a global chemical imbalance, which has to be addressed and redressed, regardless of ‘cost’. If that cost is passed on to future generations without their prior consent, is that not fraud?

Surely we can do better than that.

Murray Grimwood.

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